Michael Laverty clinched his maiden victory of the season in the MCE British Superbike Championship at the final attempt in Sunday’s Showdown finale at Brands Hatch.
The Tyco BMW rider won the third race of the triple-header weekend, with Milwaukee Yamaha star and new BSB champion Josh Brookes’ crash at Graham Hill Bend making life a little easier for the Ulsterman and his rivals after the Aussie had dominated the first two races.
Brookes secured the title in Saturday’s opener after seeing off a determined challenge by outgoing champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and was on course to complete a commanding clean sweep of all seven Showdown races after defeating PBM Kawasaki rider Byrne again in race two.
However, a Brands treble proved a step too far for Brookes as he ended up in the gravel trap, paving the way for a three-way scrap between Laverty, Byrne and James Ellison on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Byrne hit the front at Clearways in the closing stages but Laverty was wasn’t about to go down without a fight and was back in front at Paddock Hill Bend.
The 34-year-old managed to hold on for a coveted win by 0.237 seconds from Ellison, who edged Byrne for the runner-up spot.
The delighted Toomebridge man, who finished fourth overall in the final standings, said: “We kept the best to last, but all credit to the Tyco BMW lads as they have kept their faith in me and this is a perfect reward for their efforts. We’ve been building towards a win this past few rounds and since we had the upgrades at Assen, I’ve always believed we’d have top three pace.
“Coming into Brands this weekend I was thinking I’d love to stand on the top step and after a few tweaks after race one today, I rode race two with a lot of heart.
“This win is as much for the whole team as it is for me.”
Laverty finished ninth in Saturday’s race and third in race two before breaking his duck on the BMW.